OK, I’d had a bit of an “issue” with my sense of sweet fading for a bit. Added some mold suppressant to kill off the yeast that might be there, and all was somewhat better.
Unstated at the time was that I was having a few other “low immunity” cues. A cat scratch that was being slow to heal instead of my usual “immediate” response. Some “foot fungus” trying to get a toe hold ;-) And, a general lack of allergic response. For me, that’s an odd thing. I usually react to something or other every day or two, even if only long enough to escape from the smokers plume or the perfume trail…
Suspicions landed fairly quickly on “perhaps environmental”.
This weekend, I’m in a hotel.
Had a “sneeze fit” coming out of WalMart on day two…
Felt a fairly profound fatugue (that I often get when my immune system wakes up and says “WTF!?” and gets active, but also exacerbated by my cold turkey coffee withdrawal of last week) and have mostly slept the last 2 days. (About 8 waking hours each).
First day the corners of the mouth got a bit ‘crusty’ and dry. What usually happens when something is healing. Second day, all is fine.
Sweet is presently tasting VERY sweet ;-)
I’m at Starbucks sucking down a Mocha or two (they make a White Chocolate Mocha that I didn’t know about, but the barista made it “by mistake”, and I decided to try a “taste off”. NOW I’m in real trouble, I like both the dark and the white chocolate mochas….). No mouth ‘rashy’ look to the corners of the mouth.
The “Cat scratch” is reacting how I would normally expect. More rapid healing, itching, some deep redness to the margins.
As long time readers will know, one of my favorite mantras is:
“Why? Don’t ask why, down that path lies insanity and ruin. -E.M.Smith”
So, exploring why…
What changed? A lot.
Food a little bit (but I was largely cooking my own stuff and eat at the same restaurants in both cases). Likely not food.
Water a tiny bit. Mostly still using bottled water to drink and Orlando area tap water. Likely not water.
Things like background radiation and air pollution are most likely about the same. I’ve not moved that far and both places are about the same age and construction.
Animals? Possibly. My host has a cat and a ferret. I’m slightly allergic to cats (but we had one for about 20 years and as long as I didn’t let him rub my face too much, I’d not sneeze. Besides, he “keyed up” my immune response, not dampened it. The Ferret has a bit of skunky odor (they are related) but that’s about it. Still, could be some exotic reaction or some bug in the ferret poo that thought I was a good host… but why would it end when I left if it was a bug? They usually take 5 to 7 days to resolve, not one or two.
No, suspicion lands mostly onto the thing I did to FIX the cat dander and ferret smell.
The room had an “air purifier” in it ( I’m not sure if it is an “Ionic Breeze” but it is similar). It’s a big one, and looks like it is sized to do a whole house. This is a small room. It has a turbo setting of some sort too. Oh, and it smells vaguely of ozone when in use…
I’d worked on contract at Sharper Image for about 4 months once, and these things were everywhere. I’d felt a bit “keyed up” some times and a bit “run down” others as I adapted to the space, but always felt a bit “off”. I was glad when the contract ended… But even there my exposure was only for a couple of hours at a time, and I took a long lunch outdoors to avoid them mid-day. I’d only figured I’d give it a shot now as I was asleep most of the time so “didn’t notice”… That, and it DID give the air a clean active smell. (like a mix of ozone and faint ocean chlorine smells).
So, perhaps deciding that if I could sleep through it, it was OK, was a mistake…
A Bit On Ozone
So, while sucking on Mocha, I decided to try some searches on Ozone. After a bit of “tuning”, I got this page:
A review of the literature reveals that ozone (O3) exposure can either suppress or enhance immune responsiveness. These disparate effects elicited by O3 exposure depend, in large part, on the experimental design used, the immune parameters examined as well as the animal species studied. Despite the apparent contradictions, a general pattern of response to O3 exposure can be recognized. Most studies indicate that continuous O3 exposure leads to an early (days 0-3) impairment of immune responsiveness followed, with continued exposures, by a form of adaptation to O3 that results in a re-establishment of the immune response. The effects of O3 exposure on the response to antigenic stimulation also depend on the time at which O3 exposure occurred. Whereas O3 exposure prior to immunization is without effect on the response to antigen, O3 exposure subsequent to immunization suppresses the response to antigen. Although most studies have focused on immune responses in the lung, numerous investigators have provided functional and anatomical evidence to support the hypothesis that O3 exposure can have profound effects on systemic immunity.
(As it’s just the abstract, I’m quoting the whole thing.)
Most interesting to me (other than the fact that it makes Ozone a likely “smoking gun”) is that fact that the effect is not present on NEW exposures to antigenic stimulation. It lets all the OLD bugs out of immunity jail. One can only wonder how…
Also of note is that it leaves open the question of how long a ‘respite’ is needed for a “continuous exposure” to be reset to the “new exposure, suppress immunity” point. Would 8 to 10 hours “on” and / or 10 to 12 hours “off” (with the rest variable) cause a constant state of “suppression”? Always keeping the adaptive response off balance?
OK, I can see several ways to use this.
IFF you have a long duration immunity moderated disease, the use of added ozone MIGHT help mitigate it a bit (as you are ‘already immunized’ even with auto immunity diseases). I could see folks with allergies, arthritis, even Lupus and maybe vitiligo getting some potential relief from an air ionizer that incidentally made some ozone. (At the risk of a ‘flare up’ of some OTHER old exposure such as yeast).
It would also seem that exposure (especially for 10 to 12 hours at a time in a very small room with a very large ionizer while sleeping) can cause a variety of immune suppression ‘side effects’, such as those same ‘flare ups’ of things like yeast…
So I’ll be “experimenting” a bit more with this in a few days. I’m in the hotel for a while, then return to the ‘guest room’ toward next weekend. I can then modulate the ionizer (instead of leaving it on 100% of the time) and see what happens. It is always possible that something else about the change was “the issue” or that things just resolved on their own, so “Guinea Pigs R Us” ;-)
Until then, I’m having a bit of a slow day as I “heal” some things that were building up and “suddenly” got noticed by the immune system and I’m enjoying a bit of time to “just be me”, instead of being “on stage” from 5:30 AM wake up call to final ‘head to bed’. Even if it is just commuting with a friend, it takes energy, being more “up”, to be engaged and conversing than it does to be “in the zone” and with the brain able to ‘free run process / muse’…
It is possible that simply that “Hit the go juice button at 5:30 AM and hold it” was the “drain” on the system. When running hard the immune system gets second place in the energy food chain, so often lags in performance. (Though I’ve done this before for longer without the “fuzzy tongue” effect… so I think “something is different this time” ;-)
At any rate, I’m going to be playing with the parameters for a bit as I find out what’s a “distractor”, what’s a “important but not causal” and what is a “root cause” parameter. Can’t set the knobs right if you don’t know, for CERTAIN, what they do… (A lesson I’d love for politicians to learn about the economy. And, oh by the way, even Economists don’t know what all the knobs do or how they interact outside of limited ranges…)
Until then, two things:
1) If you have such a device, you too can play with it and see what happens.
2) The link also includes a pointer to the full article, for folks wanting to read more:
Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (3.2M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References
With that, I’m off to look at some fancy rims for my car… I’m feeling much more ambitious today ;-)